Humans of the Uniting Church
Rev Pablo Nunez
March 14, 2023
This year, we’re excited to be featuring some of the inspirational people who make up the Uniting Church. Check out the growing hub of stories here.
If you know of someone with a great story to tell, contact us and nominate them to be featured.
This week we hear from Rev Pablo Nunez, Minister at Ballina Uniting Church in NSW and a member of the Ibero Latino National Conference in the Uniting Church.
"I love telling people about the freedom we have to ask questions and to look for new perspectives"
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What’s your Uniting Church story?
I first met with different UCA congregations through my previous ministry role in Youth With A Mission in South Australia, and I always loved the deep sense of heritage, tradition and faithfulness I saw in them. In 2014 we got in contact with the new project in Playford, SA, and shortly afterwards we heard about the vision for a new congregation through the Rev Peter Riggs, and our family immediately felt connected with their heart and vision. We joined the congregation, and in 2016 I did my PoD with the mentorship of Rev Esteban Lievano and started my studies with the Uniting College for Leadership and Theology. In September I was contacted by Ballina Uniting Church in the Far North Coast Presbytery in NSW, and I became their Pastor in February 2017, and was ordained there in February 2020, where I am still serving.
What enlivens your faith?
The journey of transformation that I saw in my sister’s life when I was 12. She started to attend church, the first one in our family to do so. Over the next three years, she became forgiving, filled with love, had an amazing groups of friends who loved Jesus and were so inspirational. That led me to visit a church and start the same transformation journey that I am still going through today, and that I get to witness in the lives of so many people in different places, different settings, different cultures - all carrying the same beautiful elements of God’s irresistible grace, patient and passionate love and continuous mercy. There’s nothing like witnessing the work of God in a person, and how that affects their families, communities and beyond.
What’s one thing happening in your community that’s really exciting for you?
Ballina has received a family of Syrian refugees through the new Community Refugee Integration & Settlement Pilot (CRISP). A group in our church was so inspired that they decided to become a Community Support Group, and after receiving the appropriate training and preparation were recently approved to receive another family that will arrive in Ballina in April. I strongly encourage every congregation to look into this program. We (the Uniting Church) could be an amazing response to this urgent need.
What’s one thing you love telling people about the UCA?
I love telling people about the freedom we have to ask questions and to look for new perspectives. I may not like some of the answers, but I'd rather be in a place with the freedom to ask questions and pursue the answers, than being in a place where questions are not welcomed. I love the journey of questioning, exploring issues in community and growing together as we find answers that will always lead us to more questions, as frustrating and exciting as it can be.
What’s one thing you’d like to change, or something you hope for?
I would love to live long enough to see our buildings, with all their history and heritage, being actively used in the Kingdom of God with thriving congregations, actively involved in ministry in the community, reaching out with the love of God and pursuing God’s heart for Australia and the nations. I believe that change starts with personal commitment, passionate prayer and hard work.
What's one thing you would like the rest of the Uniting Church to pray for?
I’d love to ask our beautiful family in the Uniting Church to pray together for a revival in our passion for evangelism, for missions in our community and in the nations; that’s the fire in our traditions, and should be the fire in our future.
Read more about what Ballina Uniting Church is doing to grow a new faith community: https://www.insights.uca.org.au/ballina-helping-people-explore-faith-for-the-first-time/